by Noel Coward
Melbourne Theatre Company Production - 1990
Present Laughter is a comic play written by Noël Coward in 1939 and first staged in 1942 on tour, alternating with his lower middle-class domestic drama This Happy Breed. Later Coward's new play Blithe Spirit was added to the repertory for the tour. The play's title comes from a song in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which urges carpe diem ("present mirth hath present laughter"), and so the word present in the title should be pronounced as the adjective /prezənt/, not the verb /prezent/. The plot follows a few days in the life of the successful and self-obsessed light comedy actor Garry Essendine as he prepares to travel for a touring commitment in Africa. Amid a series of events bordering on farce, Garry has to deal with women who want to seduce him, placate both his long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, cope with a crazed young playwright, and overcome his fear of middle-age (he has recently turned forty) and, by implication, his impending mid-life crisis. The story was described by Coward as "a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics".
Cast: Julia Blake, John Gaden, Barbara Stephens, Paul English, Nicki Wendt, Nicholas Eadie, Tim Hughes, Alison Whyte, Jan Friedl, Alan Andrew
Director - Gale Edwards
Playbill/Program 1999 Melbourne MTC
Size 140 x 215 mm lots of Great Pictures and Information on Noel Coward and the show and cast.
Condition: Used Good 8/10
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